The InsideAR Conference, hosted by Metaio, took place on October 29th and 30th in Munich. I had the chance to attend on the second day only, but even that was really worth the experience.
As I’m not so much into technical matters, more fascinated of the possibilities a technology like Augmented Reality gives us to present content, I used the opportunity to listen to the presentations about smaller projects and enjoyed the ‚talks between the talks‘.
The first time I learned about Augmented Reality was just recently. It must have been a year ago, and I was captivated immidiately. Sure the big money industry provides us with further development of the technology, but that’s not my playground.
Museums, tourism, the publishing industry, cultural institutions … can use the technology for an entertaining, exciting, playful approach to our historical and cultural heritage. And yes, I’ve heard about the criticism you might lose attention for the object (for example the painting, the sculpture, the historic site and so on) by focusing on the virtual enhancements. But hey, haven’t we always tried to find ways to make teaching, educating easier by using games, mnemonic tricks, visualizations, stories, songs etc.? Why not use a new technology for the same reasons?
Science Fiction scenarios out of my youth are not longer Science Fiction. It’s real, and in case of Augmented Reality it’s absolutely stunning!
Imagine (well, you no longer have to imagine parts of it, as there are already many projects being implemented) you walk through an ancient Mayan site with your AR glasses and don’t just see the empty buildings, ruins, but also the life how it was back in time, with people telling their stories. Or the knight in his armor in a museum is not just standing around, but giving you a tour through the museum. Or for a kid to get entertained in an art exhibition with different animated tales popping out of a painting. The possibilities are virtually endless.
Four projects on the InsideAR Conference caught my attention in a special way.
- A German bookstore chain, Mayersche Buchhandlung, is releasing an AR App in early November with interesting possibilities to search, learn more about and order books/ebooks. For the mostly rather traditional book industry it’s a huge step into the future.
- In remembrance of the War of Spanish Succession 1714, when Catalonia became part of Spain, in 2014 a large map was painted on the pavement of a famous plaza in Barcelona, provided with different markers to connect with an AR App. Downloaded to your mobile device, connecting the App with the markers you got some nice animated information about the special historic places on the map and activities within the city.
- Timetraveler Berlin, with the AR App you get a virtual insight of the history of the Berlin wall while walking along the site.
- A book project from the USA, will be published in 2015. Veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam telling their stories, sharing their feelings in a book equipped with AR. The reader can use the App for example to watch a video with a Veteran talking, or get more information about how it feels to fight in a war. A very moving project.
All in all it was great to be at the conference, to learn more about the Augmented Reality technology, to – always most important – talk to the people behind the projects!
You can read (and hear) more about the InsideAR Conference (in German) on www.schleeh.de